Is Your Office Space Turning Off Top Talent?

Are you leveraging your office space to attract top talent?

Even with endless perks like their gourmet food offerings and envy-inducing nap pods, there’s a reason why the Googles and Facebooks of the world invest in building flexible, creative workspaces for their teams: to attract the best candidates and retain their employees. Your office space is often reflective of your culture and what you value, so what is your office saying about you?

Take a look at the list below to rethink how your office is (or isn’t) coming across to top talent.

1. No room for community

Workspaces that allow for employees to comfortably congregate can not only foster a sense of community but also show top candidates that you provide flexible work options for all workplace personalities. Chelsea Garber and Sydney Wells from Knotel’s interior design team, which has designed the offices of Knotel’s 2,000+ member network, including Stash, COTA, and Teachable, agree. “We firmly believe in creating areas away from your desk to work and socialize. Our strategy for achieving this is standing café tables with bar-height stools, small breakout areas, intimate seating, and other non-traditional meeting areas, such as tables for 2-4 people. This arrangement not only gets people away from their desks, but it allows individuals to work to their needs, either alone or in collaboration.

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2. “Newcomers aren’t welcome here.”

If interviewees walk straight into an open office layout where 50 employees look up disgruntled before going back to stare at their computers, that’s an immediate sign that your company hasn’t put much thought into creating a welcoming environment for newcomers. Having a designated waiting room, as well as a team member who can offer water, coffee, and snacks is a nice touch to ensure guests aren’t awkwardly standing in the middle of your office. Knotel provides each member company with a dedicated Member Experience Manager who assists with welcoming and directing guests to the right place, as well as servicing employees’ everyday needs.

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3. Clear inaccessibility to upper management

Depending on where you work, it may be essential for high-ranking members of your team to have separate office spaces. However, if you are part of a young, growing team with limited resources, split office space could signal an inflexible hierarchy or inaccessibility to upper management. An open office plan helps to deconstruct hierarchies and encourage collaboration amongst employees. Top candidates, especially those who are looking for avenues for growth and development, should be able to see that level of collaboration and communication with decision-makers through your space.

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4. No natural lighting

“No one wants to work in a dungeon,” says Taina Oquendo, Knotel’s Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition, who strongly recommends that companies hoping to attract top talent feature natural lighting or, at the very least, soft lighting in their space. Studies have shown that an ample natural lighting in the workplace positively affects your mood and health. Desks, conference rooms, and other high-traffic work areas should be designed around natural light so that candidates will leave with the impression that you offer a bright and open workspace.

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5. You don’t show off your values.

While values signage isn’t necessarily a deal breaker when it comes to closing in on top candidates, it is a positive way to brand your office, motivate your employees, and remind them each day what they are working towards and why. If you want top candidates to immediately pick up on your mission and values-driven culture through your space, add signage with your tagline or wall decals with motivational quotes that you want your employees to live by.

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Putting yourself in an outsider’s shoes or relying on your current employees for ideas that will make the office top talent-friendly can help you to tackle the areas of improvement in your HQ. For a more professional consultation, ask Knotel’s design team for tips and tricks on optimizing your space.